From The Ceo’s Desk

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Every Year In August, We See Businesses Launching Evermore Elaborate Women’s Day Or Women’s Month Activities. Marketing Teams Seem To Treat The Month As An Undeclared Competition For Who Has The Most Exciting Event, Eye-Catching Advert Or Best Media Release. Spa Treatments And Gimmicky Gifts Abound.

All That Is Fine, But Not Particularly Meaningful In The Context Of A World Where Gender-Based Violence And Femicide (Gbvf) Has Long Run Rampant, Spiralling During Covid-19. During The Pandemic, The Willingness Of Private Sector Leaders To Lament The Situation Has Been Particularly Noticeable – As Has Their Apparent Unwillingness To Take The Response Further – Either Internally Our Outside Of Their Businesses.

We As Business Need To Wake Up. Gbvf Isn’t Something That Happens Out There; Some Of Its Building Blocks Are Created Within Our Own Companies. Instead Of Turning A Blind Eye To This, We Need To Act Rapidly To Change What Is Needed Within Our Businesses. And We Should Also Be Responding To What Is Happening In Our Societies – Preferably Acting Together As The Private Sector, In Order To Focus On Changing Behaviour At Scale.

This Is Why Shared Value Africa Initiative (Svai), As A Network Of African Purpose-Led Businesses, Is Calling On The Ceos Of All Businesses To Pledge That They Will Act To Tackle Gbvf. Taking This A Step Further, Svai Is Asking Corporates To Make Eliminating Gbvf – Or For That Matter Any Form Of Discrimination Against Women Occurring Within Business – A Key Business Aim.

Business Actions Should Include Rooting Out All Gender-Based Discrimination. Areas To Consider Are The Gender Pay Gap And Glass Ceilings. It Could Include Procurement Initiatives And Funding To Support Women-Owned Enterprises. And It Certainly Includes Eliminating Sexual Harassment In The Workplace. Incidents Of Bullying And Harassment Should Be Dealt With Whenever They Manifest.

A Company’s Employee Base Is One Of Its Greatest Assets, Highest Costs And The Focus Of A Significant Amount Of Management And Board Attention. Within That Discussion Should Come A Major Interest In Rooting Out Gbvf In The Workplace And Broader Society, If Only To Improve Workplace Productivity And A Better Environment In Which To Grow The Business.

Svai Partners With The 2020 Loeries Award

On The African Continent, Svai Is Seen As The Key Source Of Information And Advice On Shared Value Strategy And Implementation. So Where Shared Value Is The Topic, Svai Will Be Playing A Role. Each Year, Svai Is Called On To Verify Entrants To The Shared Value Category Of The Annual Loeries Awards For Brand Communication. The Task: To Confirm That Entrants Do Indeed Qualify As Shared Value Organisations.

The Loeries Have Become The Most Prestigious Advertising Award Across Africa And The Middle East. In 2019, Old Mutual And M-Kopa Both Received Gold Awards In The Shared Value Category, For The Old Mutual Alternative Investments And Upgrade Your Life With M-Kopa Communications Respectively. We Look Forward To Reporting Back On What 2020 Brings.

The Power Of Our Network: Members-Only Leadership Event Coming Up

This Year Has Brought Unprecedented Challenges But Also New Ways Of Working And Leading As We Continue To Grow The Shared Value Business Network Across The Continent.

Interaction With Members During This Period Is Reconfirming Both The Power Of Our Network And The Drive Of Members To Discuss Recovery Plans During This Time. We Invite Members Of Svai To An Invitation-Only Event, The First Of A Series Of Quarterly Forums, That Will Take Place Virtually On 15 September.

At This Event, Joining Us From New York To Give The Keynote Address Will Be Jeremy Heimans, Co-Founder And Ceo Of Purpose And The Co-Author Of The Book New Power. Jeremy Will Share How A Shift In Power From Old To New Is Vital For Economic Recovery.

Members Should Look Out For The Invitation.

Insights From An Inspiring African Entrepreneur

Brian Kemi Olimba, Co-Founder Of Olicheza

On Coping With Covid-19: “Seek Positivity In Everything You Encounter, Always Be Grateful, Adapt, Continuously Strive To Give Value To All Stakeholders And You Shall Receive.”

On Shared Value In Africa: “Be Grateful For The Unique Challenges We Have In Africa. There Is An Abundance Of Opportunities For Businesses To Provide Innovative Solutions That Will Positively Impact All Stakeholders.”